Thursday, May 19, 2011

Part 5: "I" is for infatuated

This is part 5 of the series I am doing on Calvinism and God's eternal purpose.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I am writing it.

In the introduction to this series I said that I want to write about how my views and my love for the doctrines of grace (aka Calvinism) have been built upon by my new understanding of God's eternal purpose.

In this post I want to talk about irresistible grace (it puts the "I" in TULIP) and how God's eternal purpose gives this doctrine some shape in Christ.

To start, I want to give some shape to this doctrine for all of those who cringe at Calvinism because they refuse to be a robot. They'll say things like "God does not violate our will, we can resist Him if we want to". To that I say I agree 100 percent. The way I understand it, God does not change our will. God the Holy Spirit changes our heart by taking out the old heart of stone and giving us a heart of flesh. With this new heart comes new desires and a new will. That is not to say that we will not be tempted and have sinful desires any longer, but gradually our desire for sin will be outweighed by our desire for Christ. Just as God gave us over to the sin we desired with the old heart He gives us what we desire with the new one. To someone with a new heart God's grace is irresistible. Christ's atoning sacrifice is irresistible. Without a new heart a person can and will resist God and His grace. Like Jesus said to Nicodemus "unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God". In the reformed view this is called regeneration where the new heart and faith in Christ come simultaneously.

All you reformed brothers can feel free to correct me if I've misrepresented something. For the non-Calvinistic believers I hope you can rest easy knowing that I don't think you are a robot but you ARE a new creation.

So what is so irresistible about God's grace? The answer to that question ties us right back into God's eternal purpose. I think Frank Viola in his book From Eternity To Here did a fantasic job of displaying Jesus as the hopeless romantic that he is as he chases after his bride. That is the angle I will take with this post. Feel free to build on this in the comments about how it applies to the body, family and house of God.

Here is my answer to the question what is so irresistible?


Yep, that's it and that's enough.

To a woman who is chased after, loved, forgiven, provided for, honored, cherished and held by a man who is completely and totally devoted to her good, that man is irresistible. To the church that man is Christ. To Christ, the church is his bride.

Jesus Christ IS the grace of God. God's grace is not some arbitrary, mystical and shapeless idea. God's grace has form and has a body. I'll say it again, Jesus Christ is the grace of God. He came to get his girl and He got her by giving himself up and sacrificing himself.

We are that bride. We are the apple of his eye, the desire of his heart, the object of his affection, the bearer of his name. He came to convince us of his love by shedding His blood and bringing us to his Father. Resistance is futile because eventually his love wins our hearts over to him. When his bride falls into his arms she is free to receive all of Him, to hear his sweet words in her ear and trust in her man totally and completely. In his arms we are safe because Jesus is the master of the universe.

Jesus is without a doubt the most passionate, giving man that has ever walked the earth. Not only that but he is sensitive, powerful, rich, generous, ambitious, successful, and strong. He is the King and he offers his bride the kingdom. What woman can resist a man like that?

Who can resist grace like that?

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